Sunderland Coastguard team and South Shields Volunteer Life brigade were called to Jackie's Beach in Whitburn at 12.05pm yesterday, July 8 following a report from a member of the public that there was an unattended toy dinghy floating off the beach.
Rescue teams arrived at the scene as the dinghy was being retrieved by two sea swimmers.
The swimmers informed the coastguards that they were using the dinghy to hold their belongings and dry clothes rather than leave them unattended on the beach.
Coastguard rescue officers gave the swimmers safety advice before leaving the beach.
A Sunderland Coastguard team spokesperson said: “Upon speaking with the swimmers it became clear they were simply using the dinghy to hold their belongings and dry clothes rather than leave them unattended on the beach. Safety advice was offered and all parties left the beach.
“This was fortunately a false alarm but the caller did exactly the right thing by contacting us. This could quite easily have been something more untoward.”